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Day 5 - IFA International

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Exclusive Interview Why

Exclusive Interview Why life is good for Simon Kang LG succeeds in converting ‘infinite possibilities’ into hard sales It’s been a year of infinite possibilities for LG Home Entertainment Company, which is at IFA with an impressive array of intelligent, user-friendly products designed to deliver the ultimate homeentertainment experience. So what’s next for the Korean powerhouse? President and CEO Simon Kang runs through LG’s global ambitions… For the European TV market, this year we are targeting 8.8 million unit sales and a 16.3% market share. To achieve that goal, we will focus on LED LCD TV, selling 2.8 million units. We also expect 180,000 unit sales in 3D TV. In addition, we will keep launching new models on to the European market, with the emphasis on large TVs of 47 inches or more. Despite the ongoing global recession, the thing that sets us apart from our competitors is, we believe, our premium strategy. Although that strategy doesn’t translate into visible results in the short term, particularly in sales volume, it definitely pays dividends in terms of revenue and, in the long term, raises the sales volume by increasing brand identity. That means we eventually succeed in both sales volume and revenues. Globally, we aim to sell 30 million flat-screen TVs this year, including 25 million LCD TVs and five million Plasma TVs. Given our strong performance in the second quarter, we are expecting all our sales goals this year to be accomplished with ease. For LCD TVs, we are targeting a 13%-14 % market share this year, and 15% or more in 2011. How important will the Internet be for TV? Along with 3D TV, Internetconnected TV will become another mainstream activity in the very near future. In the beginning, 3D TV will make faster progress, because 3D functions can be loaded as standard features. But ultimately, Internet-connected TV is likely to be a stronger stream, because of its potential for more comprehensive convergence into the total home-entertainment hub. But the high-speed Internet environment must first become established in homes before it becomes a mass-market proposition. What is LG’s strategy for smart TV? TVs have very different user patterns to computers or mobiles. For instance, TVs tend to be family-oriented devices, whereas computers are more focused on single users. That means that TV users have demonstrably different tastes and usage patterns to computer users. But by capitalising on TV’s own strengths, we will incorporate the best of traditional TV and smart TV to provide optimum solutions. What is the roadmap for OLED? LG launched the world’s largest [15-inch] OLED TV at IFA 2009. This year, we will showcase the world’s slimmest 31-inch 3D OLED TV, which confirms our position as a leading OLED TV manufacturer. And we plan to launch an even larger OLED TV in the near future. What are the most exciting developments in LG TVs? Having been a TV pioneer for decades, LG has made remarkable strides in terms of picture quality and design innovation. Now, we are looking at the dawn of a new TV era — and LG has made a huge contribution to this evolution. For instance, thanks to our state-of-theart technologies, consumers can enjoy 3D programmes on the TV screen while experiencing Internet-based content. Previously, they would have had to have gone to a 3D movie theatre or connected to the Internet via a computer. “Globally, we aim to sell 30 million flat-screen TVs this year” How does IFA fit into LG’s marketing and communication strategies? IFA is one of our core trade shows. It gives us access to European consumers and customers, as well as to a global audience. Better still, we can learn directly about our customers’ needs and insights, which enables us to incorporate their feedback into our upgrades and product development processes. IFA also allows us to track the industry’s mega trends, which helps us to plan our mid- and long-term marketing and communication strategies. What product launches does LG have in store for the second half of the year? We will be debuting our newest TVs, 3D solutions, and projector, audio and video products. At this year’s IFA, we are launching the LEX8, which delivers ultimate picture quality with alluring INFINIA Design. It is the slimmest and narrowest of any Full LED TV in the world using NANO Light Technology. We will also launch the LEX9 model of the world’s largest Full-LED LCD 3D TV; the HX995TZ plasma 3D TV; the HR550 3D home-theatre system; and a broadcast programme that receives 3D Blu-ray disc playback. 20

Special Feature New TV Technologies I can see clearly now The evolution of TV technologies: moving towards a bright new future The battle began a decade or so ago with the onset of flat screen technologies. Design-wise, flat screens were superior to Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) but picture quality was often lacking. A scuff then continued between Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and plasma technologies – each touting their advantages and claiming to be “the best”. Today, the disadvantages of plasma and LCD have largely been overcome. Thanks to light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting, new scanning technologies and improved filters, TFT LCD screens have developed excellent contrast and refresh rates. Furthermore, screen energy efficiency has largely been improved. For example, the new Philips 42PFL6805H LCD model consumes just 46 watts. Colour reproduction is being improved, as we have noted in Sharp’s new Quattron range, which adds a yellow pixel for an enhanced colour gamut and improved luminance efficiency. Manufacturing techniques continue to improve overall quality – meaning a better screen resolution with fewer dead pixels – which also used to be quite an issue in the early days. Meanwhile, plasma technology continues to hold its own. For larger sizes, the black levels and colour reproduction of plasma are still superior. New manufacturing techniques also mean that the screens are much more energy efficient. For example, Panasonic’s super efficient plasma TVs consume a quarter of the power of older models. OLED TVs are edging their way into the market. While Sony’s first models inspired the market a couple of years ago, these were too expensive to garner mainstream popular appeal. Samsung has been toying with the idea of OLED and has included the technology in handheld devices such as smartphones. However, the Seoul-based technology giant is hesitating to venture into OLED TV. LG Display has for its part been heavily investing in OLED development, with the LG group going as far as buying Kodak’s OLED patents in December 2009. Kodak invented OLED decades ago, holding all the main patents. LG has an OLED TV on show at IFA this year… See the full IFA International report on page 22. The future is bright and the new oasis on the marketing horizon is 3D and ultra-high definition. Lenco launches soundbar with 3D audio technology Soundbar avoids the sweetspot The Lenco SB-100, a 3D sound system developed in co-operation Zürich-based Sonic Emotion, offers a natural 3D sound experience throughout the entire room, rather than producing a sweet spot like many current two-channel and 5.1-channel systems. “The technology is based on wavefield synthesis, a spatial audio rendering technology that creates virtual acoustic environments,” says Lenco President and CEO, Nico Brabers. The SB-100 produces artificial wave fronts which are then synthesized by the individually driven speakers. “Thanks to this technology, all the listeners in the room experience the same quality Hall 25 / stand 126 of sound wherever they are,” says Brabers. “Thanks to our technology, all the usual limitations of current surround sound systems are surpassed.” All input signals, including stereo, are reproduced in 3D, and as a result the sound seems to come from all around. “And since 95% of all TV sound is still in stereo, the SB-100 converts it all into 3D,” says Brabers. “This means that the entire family can enjoy 3D sound from a single device. Whether it is sports, live concerts, the sound from game consoles or an iPod or iPhone connected to the TV set, the SB-100 offers a completely different experience.” IFA International • Tuesday, 7 th September 2010 21

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